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Boillot, F ; Chabin, A ; Buré, C ; Venet, M ; Belsky, A ; Jacquet, R ; Bertrand, M ; Delmas, A ; Brack, A ; Barbier, B

The PERSEUS Exobiology Mission on MIR. Behaviour of Amino Acids and peptides in Earth Orbit

Origins of Life and Evolution of The Biosphere 32 (4) 359-385

par Administrateur - publié le

Abstract :

Leucine, alpha-methyl leucine and two peptides were exposed to space conditions on board the MIR station during the Perseus-Exobiology mission. This long duration space mission was aimed at testing the delivery of prebiotic building blocks. During this mission, two amino acids (leucine and alpha-methyl leucine) and two peptides (leucine-diketopiperazine and trileucine thioethylester) were exposed in Earth orbit for three months. Basalt, clay and meteorite powder were also mixed with the samples in order to simulate the effects of potential meteorite protection. Analysis of the material after the flight did not reveal any racemization or polymerisation but did provide information regarding photochemical pathways for the degradation of leucine and of the tripeptide.